Unconscious Bias Training

The challenge 

Unconscious Bias training and equality and diversity training can be a difficult thing to get right and implement successfully throughout an organisation.

We set ourselves the task to create an Unconscious Bias course that would raise awareness of the topic and challenge biased behaviours and ways of thinking.

The main challenge we found with bias training is how to tackle this controversial, challenging subject matter in a neutral and sensitive way. Having previously created equality and diversity/inclusion training for our clients, we were able to draw on this experience when considering how to approach the topic in the best way.  

As a starting point, we looked to the Equality Act 2010 that defines nine protected characteristics in people. It is unlawful to discriminate against someone at work based on one of these characteristics. We wanted our course to expand on this, and emphasise the proven benefits of a diverse team, which brings with it a greater range of skills, knowledge and viewpoints.

The approach

This training is not assessment based, instead we built this course with the learner’s self-reflection in mind. Unconscious bias is a natural part of life and human behaviour, and so our approach reflects this with the view to change behaviour or held biases without being accusatory and without judgement. 

To do this, we set up the course in two parts. The first part introduces the topic, using animation to explain the complex concept that is unconscious bias. We then ask learners to answer some quick-fire questions to mimic the way in which we all make rapid judgements about people.

For the second part the learner can apply all the concepts and ideas outlined in part one in a scenario-based learning activity. In this situation the learner is tasked with recruiting for a new job! However, with only appearance and voice to go by learners are given the chance to examine their unconscious biases – and so, at the very least, become more aware of the effect unconscious bias can have on their decision making.  

We relied on HD video, including powerful images of people, to generate realistic reactions from learners. The course was built mostly using AfterEffects, Storyline and Illustrator – have a look at our video and animation page where we break down another unconscious bias case study.

A unique aspect of this course is its abstract style, and its clean and simple user interface. Abstract shapes for animations, real video imagery, and minimal navigation lead the way for the learning. This fluid piece represents how we shouldn’t be defined by rigid physical characteristics or social groups. The use of the ‘invisible’ navigation is intuitive and maximises the space available on screen. We believe good design means you shouldn’t need to be told how to do something, good design just works. 

The Results

This unconscious bias course runs without an LMS, and tracks completions in a Google Docs spreadsheet. Learners undoubtedly give the most honest responses when answers to questions aren’t tracked, allowing the learner to gain maximum benefit from the course.

We’re aware that bias will never be eliminated, but this course will help to expand awareness of it: the first step towards challenging our unconscious thoughts.


Why take diversity seriously?

At Fenturi, we keep a strong focus on the topic of diversity and bias in the workplace, and within the eLearning industry itself. A lot of thought and research went into the design and layout of the course, and this passion shines through in the solution we create.

Read more about how we actively fight bias in our blog about our Equal Realities round-table event.